One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Used to express surprise or for emphasis.
- ‘Oh bedad. How far will will they go to keep this particular cat in the bag?’
- ‘Well, he stood there and talked with her awhile in the rain, and he was a-getting so wet, and he says, ‘Well, bedad,’ he says, ‘I'm a-coming in!’’
- ‘They gave a shout of joy, but bedad, when they offered to get up they found themselves glued to their stone seats.’
- ‘‘But bedad afore he could put two words to that, there kem a blow in his face that knocked him flat, an’ a voice cried out in hollow tones, ‘Rise, Michael Donnel, and behold yer gran'fayther's shpirit!’’
Early 18th century: alteration of by God; compare with begad and Gad.
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